Spinner Dolphin Found Dead Along City Coastline
A young female spinner dolphin was found dead along the Chennai Coast, in the third such incident, in the last 45 days, sparking concern among green activists who demand seasonal closure of designated fishing grounds to allow the species safe passage during the breeding and migratory seasons.
Dr Supraja Dharini of Tree Foundation told that the Marine Mammal Stranding and Rescue Team from Tree Foundation responded to a call, from Tree Foundation’s Sea Turtle Protection Force member belonging to Nainar Kuppam in Uthandi, that a dolphin appeared stranded along the beach.
“The team identified it as a young female Spinner Dolphin after detailed studies. The dolphin’s dorsal area was dark gray, the sides light gray, and the underside was white. It had 68 teeth in its lower jaw and 66 teeth in its upper jaw,” she said.
“We believe it was accidentally caught by a fishing boat. It is likely the hook line got embedded in the lower jaw. It would have tried to free itself and dro-
wned before it had a chance to surface and breath.
It was also found that the upper jaw of the dolphin was broken backwards, and the hook had been aggressively removed from the dolphin prior to it being discarded to the sea, said Gnanasekar, a Sea Turtle Protection Force Member (STPF). The spinner dolphin is a small cetacean with a slender build and this dolphin was 5’5” long indicating that it had not yet reached full maturity.
This is the third dolphin to have died along the Chennai coast in the last 45 days.